Walton revealed as the area with highest antidepressant use throughout Merseyside(July 20, 2015)
Shocking figures reveal antidepressant use in parts of Merseyside is nearly 60 per cent higher than the national average.
Some 1,581 prescriptions for the drugs were written in Walton constituency in 2014 for every 1,000 people registered with a GP – the equivalent of one and a half packets of antidepressants for every man, woman and child in the area.
The average is 996 prescriptions of antidepressants for every 1,000 GP patients - meaning rates in Walton are 58.7% higher and the highest in Merseyside.
The data emerged in a new parliamentary research paper lodged in the House of Commons this week.
Walton MP Steve Rotheram said he believed government cuts and policies including the bedroom tax were to blame for the number of people taking anti-depressants in his constituency.
He said: “The figures don’t surprise me at all. I see people coming to my surgeries on a regular basis who have mental health issues and tranquilisers and anti-depressants have been prescribed to them as a result of things that have happened from policies that have been laid down by the government.
“There is a direct correlation, for me, between some of the things happening in Westminster and the people in Liverpool Walton.
“People are desperate because of the policies of Iain Duncan Smith. When he’s introducing policies down there that reduce people’s income, say by £5 a week, he thinks that’s not a problem.
“To him it’s nothing at all – it’s a latte – but to people in Walton and throughout Merseyside, for people on really low incomes and on the breadline that really is a huge reduction. It has a very detrimental impact on people’s lives.
“That is why we have seen an increase in the number of people on anti-depressants.”